There is a danger lurking under the surface of wonderful experiences like this one in Stonington, Maine when everyone is feeling so united and “high on love” for each other and the world. I woke up this morning – again before my alarm had a chance to call me to the day – still feeling the pull of muscles in my legs activated by walking up and down the hills in town. Immediately I vowed to return to a regular walking regimen in my daily life. When I sat to check the readings at http://www.usccb.org I chuckled at the words from chapter 5 of Matthew’s gospel: Do not make a false oath but make good to the Lord all that you vow…Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
I know that the above dictum was not really speaking of my enthusiastic determination to exercise but even so it was a reminder of how our emotions play in our decision-making and sometimes fail us when it comes to follow-through. There has been much depth in what has been shared in this tiny town among the visitors – as well as with the residents who have joined us for some of the presentations – and we are all changed to some extent by our time here. Today, our last full day, will be an opportunity for assessing the lessons and making realistic commitments about future practice. The hope is that in packing our suitcases we tuck in some remembrance of the moments of recognition that will allow us to live out of the sense of harmony that exists when people are joined in a common purpose – for the good of the world. Perhaps if we just remember the plea of this morning’s psalm that calls out: Incline my heart, O Lord, to your decrees...(Ps. 119:36) we will be well on our way to success.